• Kids planting in a gardenAs part of Roxbury Schools sustainability initiative, we strive to teach our students, staff, and community how to live a more sustainable life and what better way to start then in the garden!

    Each of our Roxbury Schools offers a host of opportunities for our school community to learn and grow.

    Aeroponic Gardens

    Thanks to Sustainable Jersey for Schools and the NJEA, six of our seven schools have one or more aeroponic gardens located inside their school buildings.

    The introduction of aeroponic gardens to our schools traces back to the vision of incorporating cutting-edge agricultural practices into our educational environment. Inspired by the need to promote sustainability, food literacy, and hands-on learning, the decision to implement these gardens was rooted in a desire to redefine our approach to food production and consumption. The history of these gardens is marked by a commitment to innovation and environmental stewardship, as we sought to create a tangible link between classroom knowledge and real-world applications. By integrating aeroponic gardens, we aimed to empower students with a deeper understanding of plant growth, nutrition, and the intricate interplay between science and sustainable living.

    Outdoor Soil-Based Plots & Raised Bed Gardens

    Roxbury Township is fortunate to reside in a beautiful spralling suburb in northern New Jersey with picturesque grounds allowing our schools to bring the learning to life outdoors. Our outdoor garden spaces create a thriving hub of experiential education and exemplifying the remarkable advantages of immersive outdoor learning. Through this innovative approach, students are seamlessly woven into the fabric of the natural world, fostering a profound connection that ignites their curiosity and sparks a deep appreciation for the environment. This outdoor space serves as a dynamic arena where students don't just absorb information, but actively participate in their own learning journey. Engaging directly with the natural surroundings, they embark on explorations that extend beyond the confines of traditional indoor instruction. Whether it's cultivating vibrant gardens, designing sustainable landscapes, or observing the intricate ecosystem dynamics, students immerse themselves in hands-on activities that invigorate their senses and nurture a holistic development. Physical activity becomes an integral part of their learning process, invigorating both body and mind. As they dig, plant, and create, they simultaneously cultivate life skills, teamwork, and a sense of responsibility toward their surroundings. Throughout the year, this enchanting outdoor space blossoms into a thriving arena of learning. Students engage in the rhythms of nature, witnessing its transformations firsthand, and in turn, fostering a profound sense of stewardship.

Gardens in Action 23/24

  • Franklin Falcons Gardens are Growing Inside and Out!

    FES 1st Grader at taste test First graders awaiting the aeroponic garden harvest Mr. Hamer at 1st grade taste test

    We're not just growing minds at Franklin School but we're also growing (and tasting) greens in our two aeroponic gardens. These garden towers were purchased thanks to grant funding from Sustainable Jersey for Schools and NJEA Grant program. We started the year off with a variety of greens including Basil, Kale, Auriga, Rainbow Chard, Bib Lettuce, and Gourmet Lettuce.

    The produce grown at the school is used to supply our students, staff, families, and the community with fresh produce. Before distributing them to our school community, we like to do taste testing with our kiddos! Students in grades 1-3 observe the life cycle of plants and what better way to experience it than first hand?

    Our first-graders attended a lesson on harvesting recently and participated in a taste test of spinach and chard. Students were given a leaf of each and had to describe the textures, colors, smells, and tastes.

    FES Courtyard before the work FES Courtyard after the Early Act Club worked on it

    Thanks to Franklin School's Early Act Club, they worked last spring to clean up and plant flowers, shrubs, and herbs in the Franklin Courtyard Garden so it would be ready for this fall. See the before and after pictures above! 

    First grader with seedling First graders plant their herbs

    In the beginning of the school year, first-graders, as part of their Plants & Animals unit, planted herb seeds and watched them grow, which they later transferred to the raised beds in the Franklin Courtyard Garden.

    Jefferson Koalas Learn About Aeroponic Gardens

    JES student helps the garden grow JES Garden in Bloom

    Jefferson students have been learning all year that gardens don't just grow outside, but can be grown inside too! From planting to harvesting, our koalas have grown huge heads of lettuce in our two aeroponic garden towers. These garden towers were purchased thanks to grant funding from Sustainable Jersey for Schools and NJEA Grant program.

    The produce grown at the school is used to supply our students, staff, families, and the community with fresh produce. The lettuce grown in their first harvest was distributed to our aftercare families before winter break. The most recent lettuce harvest was shared with our staff for a special "Salad Day" where they brought in all their own salad toppings for the freshest salad they ever tasted.

    Jefferson students in first thru third grade learn and observe the life cycles of plants and what better hands-on activity for them to learn and observe with!

    JES Koalas at it again...creating their own outdoor garden space

    Thanks to all the volunteers who joined JES in creating an outdoor garden space this spring. The first day we broke ground for the garden was April 5th. Throughout the following weeks, we were able to begin planting herbs and vegetables. As of June 1st, we have a fenced garden that has peppers, squash, cucumbers, and parsley growing. 

    The produce grown in the outdoor garden will be used to supply our local community with vegetables and herbs throughout the summer. We will hold food drives where we donate the harvested produce to local families. Stay tuned!

    Lincoln/Roosevelt Students Plant the Aeroponic Gardens

    LRS students this fall started growing fruits and vegetables in tiny green pods and after a few months they were able to plant them in the two garden towers in the LRS atrium for the whole school to watch grow. After some challenges and learning experiences, the gardens began to grow! Students in Mrs. Neumann's and Mrs. Rose's classes harvested lettuce, basil, green beans, and tomatoes and shared them with the school community (students, staff, and families). These garden towers were purchased thanks to grant funding from Sustainable Jersey for Schools and NJEA Grant program.

    Fifth and sixth graders observe the life cycle of plants. They observe, engage, and participate in sustainability hydroponic growing of edible herbs and food consumption. 

    Nixon Huskies Garden in Full Bloom

    Nixon's Husky Garden was in full bloom this year! Our Green Team Ambassadors made a great choice of planting tomatoes, basil, pumpkins, green beans, and cucumbers!

    Husky first-graders planted seeds during the winter as part of their Plants & Animals unit, and watched them grow in their classrooms. When the saplings got big enough and the weather warmed up enough, they were transplanted into the Husky Garden. Students used digging tools and teamwork to dig a hole, place their sapling, and secure it in the garden.

    Our cucumbers are almost ready to be picked and will be shared with our Nixon family in the next few weeks!

    Our tomatoes are growing too, and we can't wait to taste and share them!

    As part of our first grade curriculum, our students learn about plants and their parts (roots, stems, leaves, flowers, fruits) that help them to survive and grow. What a great hands-on project that also teaches them to make healthy eating decisions!

    How Many Ways Can EMS Grow a Garden?


    1. Aeroponic Garden - Thanks to recent grant funding from Sustainable Jersey for Schools and the NJEA, EMS was able to purchase an aeroponic garden. Now all seven of our Roxbury Schools can learn to grow fresh vegetables and herbs on a Garden Tower. The aeroponic gardens at Eisenhower Middle School represent innovative additions to the school's sustainability efforts, established as part of an initiative to explore alternative gardening methods and provide hands-on learning experiences for students. These gardens have become integral components of EMS's cafeteria, offering fresh, nutrient-rich produce directly to students during lunchtime. Students engage with these gardens as living showcases of sustainable food production, gaining first-hand exposure to modern agricultural techniques and learning about the principles of aeroponics. They actively participate in the care and maintenance of the gardens, including watering them during lunch breaks, fostering a sense of ownership and responsibility among students while reinforcing lessons about plant biology and environmental science. The VISTA students at EMS play a central role in maintaining the aeroponic gardens, enriching their educational experience and contributing to the school community. Responsible for overseeing day-to-day operations, including monitoring nutrient levels and ensuring proper plant care, VISTA students not only support the functionality of the gardens but also gain valuable opportunities for skill development and personal growth.

    2. Raised Garden Beds - The outdoor garden beds at EMS are vibrant hubs of hands-on learning and inclusivity. Built with sustainability in mind, these gardens have become integral to both the school's curriculum and community engagement. Students from diverse backgrounds, including those in the VISTA special education program, work collaboratively to plant and care for a variety of herbs and plants using eco-friendly methods endorsed by Sustainable Jersey for Schools. The unique aspect of these gardens lies in the partnership between regular students and those in the VISTA program. Together, they cultivate herbs, fostering teamwork, empathy, and environmental awareness. Through enjoyable activities and culinary projects, all students learn valuable skills while deepening their connection to nature. These gardens exemplify Eisenhower Middle School's commitment to inclusive education, green initiatives, and holistic student development.

    3. Greenhouse Gardens - At EMS, students engage in a hands-on gardening activity where they construct greenhouses in science class and grow basil. This initiative, rooted in environmental education, provides practical learning experiences in botany, ecology, and sustainable agriculture. This project has become integral to the science program, offering students opportunities to explore sustainable building materials, energy efficiency, and greenhouse gardening principles while fostering skills in plant care and environmental stewardship. Students construct greenhouses and plant basil seeds, nurturing them throughout the growing season. This hands-on approach not only deepens understanding of scientific concepts but also instills life skills such as patience, perseverance, and environmental awareness. The harvested basil serves as a tangible reminder of the rewards of sustainable gardening practices, enriching culinary projects and fostering a sense of connection to the natural world among students.

Gardens in Action 22/23

  • Since 2016, the Roxbury Township Public Schools has been striving to become more sustainable and green in its policies and practices. The Board of Education and administration made the decision to pursue district sustainability and green initiatives when they teamed up with Sustainable Jersey for Schools, a certification program for NJ public schools that want to go green, conserve resources and take steps to create a bright future, one school at a time. Click here to read more about Sustainable Jersey for Schools.

    All seven Roxbury Schools first earned Bronze certification in 2018 and have maintained it ever since with Roxbury High School earning Silver in August 2023.

    Nixon's Husky Garden in Action 2022/2023

    NES students gardening in the fall  NES students working the garden tower

    NES Soil-Based Garden...Winter is Coming!
    Holden R., Geyli M.A., and Skylar P. working on the Husky Garden along with their fellow classmates and school during the annual fall green fair. One of the Green Fair rotations was weeding and cleaning up the Husky Garden to prepare it for winter.
    NES Aeroponic Garden Tower in Full Bloom!
    Students and staff at Nixon School nurturing its Garden Tower. The first harvest was picked in early September and gifted to Ms. June, the Lead Cook at NES. Special thanks to Mrs. Arms who has taken the leadership role in this initiative!
    Click here to find out more about Nixon's Husky Gardens.

    Kennedy Cougars Gardens Grow 2022/2023

    KES students learn about the tower gardens  KES students learn about the tower garden and tastings

    Can You Define Hydroponic?

    Kennedy students can! This year under Mrs. Iuvone's leadership students learned the parts of the hydroponic tower gardens and how they work. They discussed what “hydroponic” means, compared the parts of the tower garden to nature: lights/sun, rockwool/soil, and nutriets.

    Mrs. Iuvone creates composters at Kennedy  KES students use cardboard trays as landscape for butterfly garden

    Day of Service to Service the Environment - Great job!

    Mrs. Iuvone, a teacher at Kennedy School built a two-stall compost bin during our MLK Inservice “Day of Service”. Teachers picked a passion project to complete as our professional development day. The students school-wide began composing during snack and lunch. They now compost school-wide! The soil created will be used in their Monarch Docking Station.

    Gaels Going Green at Roxbury High School 2022/2023

    RHS student by garden tower  RHS students working in the Shakespeare Garden  

    Time to Grow at RHS

    At Roxbury High School this year, a group of dedicated students undertook the task of maintaining the aeroponic gardens within the cafeteria. Demonstrating a commitment to sustainable food production, these students diligently managed nutrient levels, adjusted lighting conditions, and cultivated a thriving ecosystem. Their efforts not only yielded a bountiful harvest of fresh produce but also fostered a sense of wonder and connection among their peers, transforming the cafeteria into a hub of curiosity and conversation.

    RHS Fall Gardening

    Students in the Horticulture and Landscaping Class spend time outdoors working in the school Shakespeare Garden to prepare it for winter.This hands-on learning course teaches students life skills while learning about the environment and how to take care of it so it blossoms in the spring!

    RHS students making rain barrels using recycled materials  RHS students learn about pollination from a bee keeper

    Making Rain Barrels

    Students in the Horticulture and Landscaping Class in conjunction with the high school's environmental club came together to create rain barrels using recycled materials to be used in our school gardens and outside classroom. Click here to learn how to build your own rain barrel at home!

    Buzzing Bees!

    Roxbury High School students in the Horticulture and Landscaping Class had a special visitor teach them about beekeeping to better understand pollination in the outside garden.

    Are you interested in gardening and landscaping? Then check out RHS' Program of Studies to find out more about this course for Grades 10-12+.